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Show reviews: The Three O’Clock, SISU, Channel 3, Damien Marley

These days, going to four shows in seven days is a pretty rare and awesome treat for me. Even more amazingly, I took my five year-old daughter to three of them (not Channel Three at Alex’s Bar, above).

The Three O’Clock played their final reunion show at Fingerprints Music in Long Beach last Monday. I missed their shows at Coachella, The Glass House, and The Troubadour, and was stoked that they played a couple of in-stores to celebrate the release of their essential new CD which compiles demos, alternate mixes, and favorites. At Fingerprints the Paisley Underground standouts played the entire Baroque Hoedown EP, including their signature cover of The Easybeats’ “ Sorry,” and three songs off of Sixteen Tambourines LP with “ On My Own” and The Bee-Gee’s “ In My Own Time.” Wow.

I recall my twin brother and I were promoted from junior high, our parents bought us $40 worth of records. Our first batch included The Clash’s London Calling, David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, and Baroque Hoedown. One of our first concerts was seeing them play at Magic Mountan on the very stage featured in KISS Meets The Phantom of The Park. Who would have thought that I’d be taking my daughter to heard that record performed in its entirety and meet the band? Yes, they were very cool…

On Friday afternoon, I took Eloise to see SISU celebrate the release of their great new EP at Origami Vinyl. It was incredibly hot and humid that afternoon and the acoustics are tough playing in the loft-like space, and maybe that’s why the band showed a really raw, almost dubby side that I never noticed before. The new songs sounded amazing. Too bad Eloise passed out as I carried her. Gotta arrange a lunch with my daughter, Sandy and Jules to make up for her missing the end of their set… She was bummed when she woke up at home because she loves them in SISU as well as Dum Dum Girls.

That same night I went to Alex’s Bar, my favorite place to see O.G. punk bands play. Although the musicians and their friends have been around the block, the vibe is of lifers getting together to hang out and not some cheesy reunion show. I missed White Flag but got to see Axxel G. Reese and The Gears get down upon arrival. These guys used to play with The Germs, X, The Plugz, The Blasters…

Next up was The Simpletones out of Rosemead. I only knew the multisinger band’s classic and catchy tracks from the legendary Beach Blvd. compilation, including “ I Have a Date,” which they played and then some. Making the set even more special, original member/guitarist Jay Lansford was in town from Germany. Rad!

I interviewed Channel 3 for Giant Robot magazine so long ago that I don’t recall the issue. I think the insides were still B&W, though, and I remember shooting the band with my Yashica T4 somewhere in Southgate. Although I’ve kept in tough with singer/guitar player Mike Magrann, this is the first time I’ve seen the O.G. Posh Boy band since then. The set was awesome, mixing in a lot of the so-called “glam” era with the old punk stuff since Jay Lansford was in town. Mike blames him for introducing Channel 3 to Aqua Net.

So many classic L.A. punk songs including “ I’ve Got a Gun” and “ Catholic Boy,” but I was stoked to hear the rock ‘n’ roll numbers like “Airborne,” “Last Time I Drank,” and “Hangin’ Around,” too. Mike has a great sense of humor about it, calling those songs “pit killers” and I wonder if the local shoe company regretted asking him to give away gear since he made fun of their sorta Aryan logo and name all night. Cool as hell guy, lousy spokesperson! Look for the band to invade Europe soon…

From the front row of one of the best dive bars ever to killer box seats at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday night. My family and I went the world-famous venue’s Reggae Night and it kicked off with the roots band, Third World, which is celebrating its 40th year. Heavy! Next up with the Ghetto Youths Crew, which was founded by the brothers Marley and included a sweet roots set by Julian following dancehall- and rocksteady-informed singers.

Stephen Marley played a special acoustic gig, which was very cool. With members of the Ghetto Youths Crew band, the sound was stripped down and extra heavy yet crowd pleasing. The second half of the set featured raw versions of his dad’s songs including “ Selassie Is The Chapel.” The sold-out crowd went nuts during “Three Little Birds” and “Redemption Song.”

By this time Damien Marley hit the stage, Eloise was fried. But this was the first time she got to attend the venue and I’m glad we took her. The songs by Jr. Gong that we caught were high-energy and awesome. He has the PMA, for sure, and I’m sure Eloise absorbed some of it.

July looks pretty bleak show-wise but that’s what I thought about June. If there’s anything cool coming up, let me know and maybe we’ll see you there…

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